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Some Skimmers On ATM's On Central, South Coasts Targeting People With State Unemployment Benefit Debit Cards

(Ventura County Sheriff's office photo)
Ventura County Sheriff's detectives say these are two of the suspects being sought for installing ATM skimmers in the Conjeo Valley.

Five skimmer systems were discovered in Conejo Valley, but more are believed to be widespread in the region.

Detectives have a warning about the use of state issued unemployment debit cards on the Central and South Coasts. Teams of thieves have been installing sophisticated systems on ATM’s in the region to use the cards to steal money from people’s bank accounts.

Five of the skimming systems have been discovered at ATM’s in the Conejo Valley during the last two weeks. They all specifically targeting the state Employment Development Department issued debit cards for people receiving unemployment benefits

Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Detective Paul Ferruzza says the EDD issued cards have magnetic strips like older credit and ATM cards, but don’t have the security chips you find on new cards.

Ferruzza says the systems record the data from the magnetic strip, and then a tiny pinhole camera gets the person putting in their pin number. The information is then used to withdraw money from a victim’s account at another location.

The detective says if you have an EDD card, the safest thing to do is use it in a bank, instead of at an ATM. If the bank isn’t open, he says to cover the keypad as you key in your pin code.

The skimmers won’t work on ATM and credit cards with chips.